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October date eyed for Vasiliy Lomachenko, Teofimo Lopez Jr. unification bout

The tentative date for one of boxing’s biggest fights is on the move.

The lightweight unification title fight between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez Jr. might now take place on Oct. 3 in Las Vegas, Top Rank president Todd duBoef confirmed to ESPN’s Steve Kim on Wednesday night.

Recently, Top Rank chairman Bob Arum suggested Sept. 19 as a potential date for the fight, after a spring date was moved because of the coronavirus pandemic. DuBoef said “it’s still too early to determine everything” regarding the bout and that he is uncertain as to whether it will be closed to the public.

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“I’m not sure that fight happens with fans,” duBoef told ESPN.

Top Rank, which promotes Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) and Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs), has held several cards inside an enclosed area at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. DuBoef said the fight could be a potential pay-per-view bout at the MGM.

Arum told Boxingscene.com he is hopeful to have perhaps 2,000 to 2,500 people in attendance. But those plans could be altered as the pandemic worsens around the United States.

Like many other states, Nevada is experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases. According to the most recent numbers posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state has seen an increase of 5,889 cases over the past seven days, which is nearly a quarter of the state’s total cases since the pandemic started.

The Oct. 3 date was originally reserved for the third bout between heavyweights Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, duBoef told ESPN. That was pushed to Dec. 19, leaving a potential PPV slot available.

Lomachenko is ESPN’s top pound-for-pound fighter, while Lopez won the IBF’s lightweight belt in December, when he stopped Richard Commey in the second round for his first major professional championship.

Sports report